Parenthood is a journey like no other, marked by unique experiences and challenges that demand continuous adjustment. The days stretch long while months and years fly by, bringing new challenges and unrepeatable moments at every turn. Many books, documentaries, and articles promise the latest, best, and most secret secrets to raising kids and making them brighter, taller, and the prettiest babies. The truth is, there isn't a perfect recipe to follow. And the same goes for companies trying to help parents.

Parenting is a personal and particular experience, so our first assumption is that there's no one-size-fits-all solution for how companies can support working parents. I’m sure there is more that we can and will do, but these principles have helped us reach a good starting point.

Offer Generous Parental Leave

The first year of parenthood is undoubtedly physically demanding. Sleep deprivation, postpartum recovery, and childcare transitions are taxing challenges by themselves that combined can become overwhelming. At Subvisual, we implement a solution that seems utopian but is effective: unlimited vacation days. Every parent at Subvisual is encouraged to take their legally entitled leave days and add extra vacation time as needed. Allowing time for parents to adjust to their new reality is essential; assuming people will maintain constant productivity during these times is unrealistic and leads to unnecessary frustration.

Empower Them with Autonomy

When parents return to work, it's vital to focus on outcomes rather than hours clocked. Embracing a results-driven work model and prioritising work quality allows parents to manage their duties effectively, in harmony with their parenting commitments and surprises. With parenthood comes the acceptance that you're no longer in charge of your own schedule. Allowing parents to work when they are most productive boosts efficiency and ensures tasks are completed well within their optimal working hours.

Acknowledge Their Contributions Meaningfully

Acknowledging the hard work of parent employees, whether through childcare-related financial benefits, health services, or simply positive reinforcement, is crucial. Such gestures validate their hard work, contribute to a more robust connection within the team, and signal a company’s commitment to their overall success and well-being.

These strategies might be challenging to implement across different sectors and organisations, but they reflect the core values we uphold at Subvisual. The most crucial aspect is to listen actively to the parents on your team as being heard is not only important, but impactful, valuable and cheap.

Believe that each person knows the best way to manage their new reality, but take active responsibility for helping. By understanding their needs and working together on solutions, companies can foster an environment where parenting and professional life not only coexist but thrive together, benefiting everyone involved.